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Arik Armstead expected to miss 4-6 weeks

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The 49ers have some decisions to make.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead suffered a broken hand on Sunday, and we are now starting to get a timeline on the injury. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that Armstead is expected to be out four to six weeks, and likely needs surgery.

Kyle Shanahan said on Monday that the team needed to discuss if Armstead would go on injured reserve. He could be returned eight weeks later as one of the two return candidates, but that would keep Armstead out through Week 14. He has to remain on IR at least eight weeks to be eligible to return.

The 49ers will not be competing for a playoff spot this year, so they are left to determine how exactly to proceed. They can potentially afford to carry him as an inactive during that stretch, particularly with Reuben Foster and Dekoda Watson potentially coming back from injury. If they get them and Kyle Juszczyk back from the injured list, Armstead and Aaron Lynch would be the only injured scratches in Week 7.

How would you handle the absence at this point? I would prefer keeping him off IR. He’s shown promise the past couple years, but injuries have kept him sidelined and unable to get more snaps. I get wanting to play it safe to prevent aggravation of an injury, but considering he’s in his third season, they’ll have decisions to make sooner rather than later. I would expect them to pick up his fifth year option this coming offseason, but I’d still like to see a greater body of work in order to make those decisions.